Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)




Cultural competence is described as a set of skills, values, and principles that acknowledge, respect, and work toward optimal interactions between the individual and the various cultural and ethnic groups with which an individual might come into contact. Scholars have been critical of cultural competence training because the three-dimensional approach which is its foundation fails to address institutional and systemic racism. I posit that undergraduate programs should provide training, so graduates are culturally competent entering their respective fields. I examined cultural competence training within education policy and studies undergraduate programs because these graduates will work within education at all levels from the federal government to the classroom impacting student success. I conducted a qualitative study utilizing document analysis of ten education policy and studies programs across the country. Based on my analysis of program overviews, program courses, course descriptions, course syllabi and website visuals, I found that programs were implementing cultural competence training using a more robust three-dimensional approach. There were however some shortcomings as framed in the literature that each program needed to overcome to implement the most effective levels of cultural competence training, including explicit reference and acknowledgement of racism. These findings suggest that education policy and studies programs are developing more culturally competent graduates, but there are additional practices that could be incorporated to ensure the highest level of cultural competence is achieved.

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Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.